Since before I could walk, I have unexplicably been drawn to horses. These 1000 lb majestic creatures have captured my attention and my heart. My childhood was filled with horses and competing for years in hunter/jumper events, mucking stalls and cleaning tack just to spend more time at the barn to be around them and help my parents pay for extra lessons.
After a long hiatus horses re-entered my life but not in a way I would have ever imagined.
In 2008, my husband was killed.
The pain and grief of that loss ripped me to my very core. Life as I knew it stopped. I felt alone. My best friend, the father of my children, my career partner, my life partner, my one person who knew me the best and loved me with all my flaws and imperfections was gone. Life lost its meaning for me. I felt hopeless.
It was through my healing journey that I experienced first hand the incredible healing gifts of horses. Just being around them brought me a sense of peacefulness and comfort. One day I was feeling particularly sad and empty and had gone out to the barn with the intention to ride my horse. In the pasture he started walking up to me but as I focused on the business of haltering him he walked off. We repeated this several times (him walking up and then leaving as I started to halter him). After a while I gave up the idea that we were going to ride and I just stood there. My horse walked up next to me and stood with his chest next to me and his head relaxed downward. I felt this wave of energy. The floodgates opened and tears began flowing in a steady stream down my cheeks and my horse remained right where he stood enveloping me with his presence. He did not leave or feel uncomfortable as my pain and grief welled to the surface. He did not try to fix me or change the situation. He stayed there and held space for me to feel. I didn’t have to hide or pretend to be strong and that everything was fine. I could show my grief and aloneness and pain and it did not scare him off. In that one moment, I was finally able to embrace my vulnerability and not feel judged. I felt supported and accepted for all that I am and all that I was in that moment. My heart felt full again for the first time in years.
I have since had many experiences with both myself and clients where the healing gifts of horses have been life changing. Horses are incredibly sensitive, intuitive beings. They see the truth within us, even when we are not aware of our own truth.
Around people they sense our intentions and emotions that we convey through body language. They even sense subtle changes in our respiration and heart rate and become aware of our energy level. They see through us straight to our core and highlight the defenses that stand in our way. Some say the horse is a mirror to our soul reflecting back to us our inner emotional processes. As such they teach us about our authentic selves which helps us heal from old wounds and patterns that keep us from evolving. Horses are masters at helping us identify the behaviors that impact our relationships, our careers, and our lives in both negative and positive ways. They force us to face ourselves. And once we are able to do that, we can discover much greater freedom and inspiration as we move forward on our life’s journey with more intimacy and connection with our natural world. It is through my own healing work with the horses that I have healed my broken heart. Because of the horses, I have gone from hopeless to hopeful and found my passion for life again, my ability to love again, and my life’s purpose. It was a long journey back, but I can honestly say that I love my life again and I have the wisdom of the horses who showed me the way to thank for that.
If you would like to learn more about how a horse can help you heal, get in touch with me at www.staceybean.wpengine.com and check out the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method.